The Ferrer Model
David Ferrer seems to divide opinion a lot these days. Since he's solidified himself as a top ten player, and made the number five ranking his own, general tennis fans have become more accustomed to seeing him on the stadium court at the crucial stages of the biggest tournaments around the world. He seems to be loved by a few, and respected by many for his hard work and dedication to tennis. On the other hand an increasing number of people are growing impatient at his lack of threat in the important matches against players ranked higher than him, and his style which is relentlessly intense and effective, if a bit repetitive.
So my question for you all is, why don't other top pros take a leaf out of Ferrer's book and work harder on fitness, put more hours in on the practice court, and finally discover a more balanced mentality?
Let me take you back a number of years. Ferrer had a brief spell in the top ten, when he reached the US Open semi-finals in 2007 and the Year-End Championship final as well. He was still a bit of a hothead back then, often getting very angry at himself when things weren't going his way. Unsurprisingly, Ferrer's level of play dropped a lot after a spell of success, and his ranking dipped so much that for periods in 2009, it looked as of he might drop out of the top twenty for good. The best was still to come from Ferrer, though.
In 2010, Ferrer's fortunes turned around for good. He started to perform well at the majority of tournaments he played in, displaying a more determined attitude. Since then, with remarkable consistency, he's remained a top ten player, and I'm sure most Ferrer supporters will agree with me when I say that it has been more due to his physical and mental strengths, rather than any improved technical aspects of his game.
He is living proof that a modestly talented player can achieve a lot with structure, organisation and a hell of a lot of work.
So why don't players like Berdych, Del Potro and Tsonga at least take a leaf out of Ferrer's book? The trio aforementioned would far outclass Ferrer if they were a little more tactically astute, well disciplined & bold.
So is it a matter of laziness, lack of motivation to dedicate more than they do to tennis or something else?